A MAN who attacked four family members in a Banbury pub brawl has been spared jail.

Frederick Butcher, of Milton Road, Bloxham, had pleaded guilty to affray after the incident on December 1, 2013.

The 46-year-old repeatedly punched and grappled with members of the Hamer family in an incident involving glass throwing and a chair being brandished as a weapon.

At Oxford Crown Court yesterday, he was sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for two years; 160 hours of community service; 30 days of rehabilitation and made to pay £900 in costs plus a statutory surcharge.

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Referring to the father-of-two's 24 previous convictions, prosecutor Alex Bull said children from the Hamer family had been causing a nuisance before the families exchanged verbal abuse and a fight broke out.

Defence counsel Sophia Kerridge conveyed Butcher's remorse and apologised to the Hamers on his behalf but alleged the first incident began when Butcher's father-in-law was knocked out.

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She added: "It is a shameful incident that has been recognised.

"(But) the Butcher group did not start the incident and it wasn't premeditated."

Sentencing, Judge Peter Ross said: "You were not the only person in your group that used violence. Others used violence and should have prosecuted.

"Violence in public houses ruins people's social lives."

Adding that Butcher had previously not shown up for legal proceedings, he said he had 'a bad record for violence'.